Introducing Elvia! Fashion Revolution Week 2019

April 26, 2019

Introducing Elvia! Fashion Revolution Week 2019

It is coming to the end of Fashion Revolution Week and for those of you who aren’t familiar with Fash Rev, it is a global movement that lasts all year round with a week long campaign in April that encourages consumers to ask #whomademyclothes. The campaign falls on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1138 people in Bangladesh on the 24th of April 2013. During Fash Rev Week brands are encouraged to share their supply chain and be transparent with customers by using the hashtag #imadeyourclothes.

This time of year can be quite overwhelming and we are often given this new information from brands all at once. We share the makers of our pieces on our Artisan Page, so all year round you can learn about our artisan partners. This year we wanted to do things a little differently and introduce you all to Elvia Gomez Lopez from the Jolom Mayaetik Co-operative.

fashion revolution week cielo collective

Moacir and I pictured with Elvia (left) and Liz (second from left)

Elvia is the president of Jolom Mayaetik and she represents all of the co-op members who come from 11 communities in the Chiapas Highlands of Mexico. Elvia is a Tetzal Maya woman, who is not only the president, she is a daughter, an artisan, a business woman and a single mother to her son.

fashion revolution week cielo collective

Elvia's son Cristian with his grandmother Albina

Elvia grew up in Yochib which is an hour and a half away from San Cristobal de las Casas, the closest city. We were lucky enough to visit her family and friends during our time in Mexico 3 years ago. The Jolom Mayaetik team explained to us that of the 3,000 people living in Yochib, 85.6% speak the indigenous language of the area and 50% speak Spanish. We have also learned that the average level of education for women was 5.29 years and 21.47% of the population can’t read or write. 26.8% of the adult population are employed and for women this % is just 2.8%. This is why initiatives like Jolom Mayaetik are so important.

fashion revolution week cielo collective

Elvia's family and friends in Yochib

Elvia completed her high school education, however due to a lack of organisation in the community she was unable to receive her high school certificate. When she was 25 she gave birth to her son Cristian (who you can see in our photos), she became a single mother and was living with her mother in Yochib. During this time, Elvia’s mother founded Jolom Mayaetik and she encouraged Elvia to join the co-op, however Elvia was fearful of leaving her home town. Two years later Elvia found the courage to join the team and moved to San Cristobal de las Casas.

fashion revolution week cielo collective

cielo collective fashion revolution weekWhen she arrived Elvia began a 9 month training program where she learned administration skills, how to label products, use a calculator and soon enough representatives from Jolom Mayaetik voted her in as secretary of the board. Her hard work saw her also being voted in as president in 2013.

cielo collective fashion revolution week
Elvia has sacrificed a lot for the cooperative, as her son soon had to return to Yochib and live with his grandmother. She also had to learn Spanish and learn how to manage money. Bartering was very common in her community and in San Cristobal she soon learned that the exchange of money was very important. Despite these obstacles, she took each opportunity with both hands and doors opened. She has now travelled to areas of Mexico, the US and Colombia and although the idea of travel terrified her at first, she didn’t let it hold her back.
cielo collective fashion revolution week
The Jolom Mayaetik Team in Yochib

Elvia also has great aspirations for the future. Now that she knows Spanish she would love to receive her high school certificate and also complete a bachelors degree. She wants to continue to inspire and empower the Jolom Mayaetik women and share their art with the world. She also has dreams of her son coming to live with her in the future.

cielo collective fashion revolution weekJolom Mayaetik explains that they are “very proud of the career, training and dedication of Elvia, and we believe that it is necessary to make her history known to understand the impact and effort that this cooperative makes on the lives of many female artisans, so that they achieve their goals and find a way to take charge of their lives”.

This Fashion Revolution week, we simply ask you to remember that message. There are people behind every piece of clothing, every accessory or home decor. For us they are people like Elvia and we are so happy to share her story with you.

The Jolom Mayaetik women create many of our blouse, bag and homeware designs that you can find online at the link below! You can also find their designs at the Sunshine Coast Collective Markets tomorrow.

Thank you so much for reading Elvia's story.

-Skye.

fashion-revolution-week-2019-cielo-collective

fashion-revolution-week-2019-cielo-collective

-Thanks to the Jolom Mayaetik Website for the factual information found in our blog. You can read more here: https://jolommayaetik.wordpress.com/






Also in Our Journal

Gift For the Mamas - 15% Off!
Gift For the Mamas - 15% Off!

April 30, 2019

Hello lovely Cielo friends, family and followers.

Mother’s Day in Australia is on Sunday the 12th of May and I know that many of you love to spoil the ladies in your lives with Cielo treasures, so we just wanted to give you the low down of our plans for the next couple of weeks.

View full article →

Meet The Makers + A Surprise Discount Code!
Meet The Makers + A Surprise Discount Code!

March 29, 2019

We had such a lovely response to our last blog post where we shared an in depth insight into one of our much loved designs, so much so that we want to keep spreading the love! Today we will be sharing more about the creators of our blouses. You have been loving our blouse designs, particularly at our local markets. We always have so much fun seeing visitors try on different styles and struggle to decide which one to take home, they are all just too beautiful!

View full article →

Celebrating Dia del Artesano/Day of the Artisan
Celebrating Dia del Artesano/Day of the Artisan

March 22, 2019

This week on the 19th of March we celebrated Dia del Artesano or Day of the Artisans. A day to celebrate and honour the craftsmanship of artisans worldwide. We work with so many talented artisans throughout Mexico and Guatemala. As many of you know, we mainly partner with weaving or embroidery cooperatives and this week I was asking myself, do our customers know what a cooperative is? Now is the perfect time to share.

View full article →

Join + Receive 10% Off

Be first to know about our latest adventures, new arrivals and special news...